Wheeler County’s 2021 Payroll Rises by $0.7 Million

by Dallas Fridley

January 11, 2023

Wheeler County’s total all ownerships payroll grew by $0.7 million in 2021, rising to $10.2 million, an increase of 7.8%. Government payroll rose by $0.2 million (+4.2%) to reach $4.5 million. Private industry payrolls increased by $0.6 million to total $5.7 million (+10.9%). Oregon’s 2021 payroll rose by 9.4% or $10.4 billion to reach $120.4 billion.

Table showing Wheeler County 2021 covered employment and payroll

Wheeler County’s total all ownerships (private and government) employment rose by 13 jobs or 4.4% in 2021. The county’s job growth ranked sixth highest in 2021, just behind Wallowa (+4.5%) and just ahead of Clatsop (+4.3%). Crook County’s 7.5% employment increase ranked first in 2021; 33 of 36 Oregon counties added jobs. Oregon’s 2021 employment rose by about 44,300 jobs or 2.4% to 1,880,900.

Oregon’s average wage reached $64,018 in 2021, exceeding Wheeler County’s $33,129 by about $30,900 or 48%. Wheeler County average wage ranked as Oregon’s lowest in 2021, just behind 35th place Harney’s $42,212.

The annual wage gap exceeded $10,000 for 27 of Oregon’s 36 counties in 2021. Only two counties, Multnomah ($72,532) and Washington ($86,181) exceeded Oregon’s 2021 average wage. Multnomah County boasted Oregon’s largest payroll in 2021, with $34.9 billion or 29% of Oregon’s total payroll. Washington County’s 2021 payroll, at $25.2 billion, ranked second (Wheeler 36th). Together the two metro counties held 49.9% of Oregon’s $120.4 billion payroll while hosting 41.1% of its jobs. Excluding Multnomah and Washington, average pay for Oregon’s remaining 34 counties falls to $54,460, a drop of about $9,600 or 15%.

Wheeler County’s 2021 private industry payroll rose by 10.9% or $0.6 million to $5.7 million. Private industry gained 11 jobs (+6.2%), increasing its total to 189. Confidentiality prohibited the release of employment and payroll data for several private industries in 2021, including these: construction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; retail trade; financial activities; and professional and business services.

Natural resources and mining increased its payroll by 3% in 2021 to more than $0.9 million. The industry cut two jobs, dropping its average to 25 covered jobs. Pay reached $37,125 (+11%), exceeding Wheeler County’s 2021 average by about $4,000.

Trade, transportation, and utilities cut its payrolls by 2% in 2021, leaving about $1.0 million. Employment also fell slightly, cutting the industry’s average to 35 jobs. Pay rose by just 1% to $29,928, trailing the county average by about $3,200.

Education and health services boasted Wheeler County’s largest payroll in 2021, at $1.8 million (+4%). The industry gained three jobs in 2021, increasing its average to 57 (+6%). Pay lost ground in 2021, falling by 1.7% to average $32,296.

Leisure and hospitality increased its payrolls by 18% in 2021 to nearly $0.4 million. Leisure and hospitality averaged 20 jobs in 2021, an increase of two or 11%. Pay rose to $18,576 (+6.4%) in 2021, trailing the county’s average by about $14,600.

Local government led public ownerships with a payroll gain of $0.2 million, rising to $4.2 million. Local government represented 93% of government payrolls in 2021 and 94% of its jobs. Local government employment rose by three jobs to 111, while its pay averaged $37,841, exceeding the county’s all ownerships wage by about $4,700.

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